tv [untitled] September 4, 2011 11:31am-12:01pm EDT
to. nearly a billion people in the world are going on three every day. in the united states even our trash cans are filled with food you just have to go get it. so there are three basic rules to dumpster diving rule number one never take more than the. less you find if your rule number two first ones to the temperature as first did. that you always gotta share and rule number three leave it cleaner
than usual and you. found it before you leave it cleaner and you found some right it's an unusual night in l.a. because it's it's freezing outside freezing far away so i think it's you know forty three to forty five degrees which is good because it keeps all the meats and stuff cold is but. there's. no antibiotics ever no added hormones ever free range good me all of these perfectly good eggs because one was cracked didn't even get all over the other ones just through all the way is what they're doing with everything they have bags of of a coddles one goes bad they threw in the entire bag of avocados out apples oranges everything just tossed in it for no good reason they're all good these are all good exe's look out and cheese from the german alps. much better out of the dumps than i ever have for her we started two years ago and we have clearly like the upper
class makes me crazy. and i'm taking some stuff but i only take stuff that's double bagged. what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. and getting meat for my own consumption at home for my baby shower. in the dumpster at one am this morning. at three pm this afternoon on the grill. i think i'm going to have a pretty healthy. we're not making a public announcement everyone telling the doctor with it. just like we wouldn't tell him that we went to montserrat see get their food but i would say most of our friends are aware of the fact that we get all of a dumpster and i think it's pretty cool.
a lot of work so. they're out about stuff clean every day and. there's like i don't have reason and then i never wash trays and. it's not that big of a deal but it's just. a lot of more work than just going universe started picking up exactly the not being you need fifteen or twenty i could just like this kitchen you know wake up in the morning and can injure and clean up that follows the dumpster dive or it's going to kill me she's going to wake up in the morning all this fear it's going to be. rotting in my. book fan will have to struggle years even though we still had to buy groceries we really began living off food pulled from the trash. eating food out of dumpsters is repulsive to most people but there's a certain beauty seen garbage transformed into a meal with friends and better meals than we could ever afford to buy especially when our friend alfonzo
a professional chef would cook up gore made dishes from food we had just scrounge out of dumpsters look at hallowed that he tried to personify. as pretty decent this good and awfully good about the fish it's good it's simple the chicken was looking a little funky a little like purplish and food makes up about twenty percent of landfill waste which means we're feeding our landfills as much as we're feeding our country so instead of rotting underground acts beneath the earth and producing harmful methane gas this garbage was feeding my family and friends and doing it in style. well this will be blood orange and onion salad. without trying to show on. sand and stuff with. ferret she's in spinach risk you from your local dumpster. a beautiful blood orange citrus verb look.
at a cake. is made from and one doesn't dumpster egg whites in the shop areas are one hundred percent. hamster. delicious. i'm strictly law i. found myself wondering through trader joe's hoping for certain items to be waiting for me in the dumpster that night i got excited when i saw a bad tomato in a pack of four more meat that had turned the slightest shade of brown anything dated for the next day would most likely be in the dumpster even though the sell by best by dates don't mean that the food is bad they're just overly cautious states for absolute freshness and protection from possible lawsuits i dreaded more locked
dumpsters which seem to be a growing trend to keep dumpster divers out and ensure total waste. this is the trader joe's we've been many many many times and they locked it so the food can then rot inside the dumpster instead of people getting it that's. at smart. i don't know i don't know i don't even want to take all this food home it's like. i'm tired of it there's. there's too much we all they took as much because we didn't want to waste but i like it's like almost two in the morning and. i don't have anywhere to put it really even though i would be breaking rule number one i decided to buy a freezer for all the excess food. we rarely saw other divers around town so i knew that most of the discarded food was ending up in landfills i had to save as much of it as i could so many. like i mix and book for
a freezer i just plugged it in but that's what i did ok. i knew i wouldn't need your. place here yet wow all thank you anyway we got in the garage for free for free donated. all right. but that's. in just over a week of nightly diving we had a year's supply of meat. still in the freezer is totally filled up there's just. a little layer of some bread and stuff. just not because i didn't find enough meat just because. or just tired of me you get kind of picky think you don't want a lot of the same thing. so i was a really nice for me to.
rescuing food from the dumpster was great for the few of us doing it but it felt too self-serving to leave it at that the question nagged me why is all this food being thrown out and not given to people who need it. i decided to ask the grocery stores. ok so here we are a trader joe's saturday afternoon i'm going to go in and talk to them because i went to their website and their website says that they prefer to talk face to face i was on a lot of on and on and. you know right so none of the stores none of them he's going to give me the card for the place already called which refused so basically
it's impossible to talk to anybody on camera i mean even off camera they wouldn't discuss details so the phone on which i got from. go they won't talk to me company policy no interviews no. no interview. call this guy i got the card. for the number for the main office but she said she'll see a pallet and on that pallet are four trash cans and those trash cans are all filled with meat and all of that gets thrown away we're here. dumpster that has a lot gate and another rule that i've been told is never penetrate into something that is not yours it's not mine if they don't open it then they don't they don't want me to get into it so it's on the line. but the gate is this i can respect that
because what if they log this one because there's back stock and they don't want people getting into the news backstop i'm going. i'm gone. i don't understand how anyone could get upset for you stealing trust. we there's the bad one. it was evil but the cure you're still going the way you know this is something not. it's been discarded and just wants to be forgotten about. you take it check that out. i don't see how that can be sued just be criminal in any way to see you not. if you just let it rot i mean minds that have been shipped up from mexico. like cheese from germany and meat from. chile and you just let it rot because of the plans. you get.
it's. going to get back to your i cam on a fast. i believe that dumpster diving to civil disobedience is nonviolent civil disobedience because i believe in what i do it i believe it's right and i'm willing to break the law and i don't believe i don't take it seriously to break the law but i believe that's just i believe in doing it if i get caught arrested i should be proud to say i got arrested for eating somebody is waste i think it's just i think it's just and i'm willing to pay the consequences for that i do it openly when when when they catch me or people come i shake their hand and tell them when and. what i do and most the time they're very firm. this is probably.
not going to do her any. good. it is. technically trespassing and it is against the law. the way you guys right now. that is where the conflict comes as a conflict between what i believe is just and what is legal and this lifestyle i believe is more just than. going into the store and buying stuff with money but rather this is. totally different and outside the system way of living. the more stores i visited and phone calls i made the more silence and resistance i received meanwhile i was attempting to educate myself and kept running into a name in almost every article i read timothy jones dr jones was former head of the
garbage project at the university of arizona and probably one of the world's most knowledgeable people on waste and his sixteen years with the project dr jones found that what we throw out in its nearly unrestricted quantity and variety reveals a lot about us as a society i gave him a call the next level you come to the commercial level there isn't even any training in. the law it's not even a concept. about what do. and i'm not putting him down i'm simply saying that the old they're just so different that he. would. do for the life because quite to be able to create. and we've lost that it's more prestigious law to be like that but you know fifty percent of all that up a great heart of never make that somebody if you have them all of the
production that went into it just went right for all it took to transport it it grow. the increase told aggregation of the folly and everything else that if we were to cut our food lawful and half we would probably be a total of all patients but. after my conversation with timothy jones i went to the l.a. food bank the second largest of its kind in the country since nearly all donated food from grocery stores goes through the food bank i hope to get a better understanding of the situation. located in the heart of downtown l.a. near one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in the world the infamous skid row i couldn't help thinking about all this wasted food in relationship to
hungry people in my own city. los angeles county we have a population of ten million people about one in every ten people are at risk of hunger in los angeles county roughly just over a million people los angeles county at some time during the year are at risk of hunger not knowing where their next meal's going to come from so los angeles regional food bank through a network of about nine hundred charitable agency sites we reach about six hundred seventy four thousand of those people so there are still you know over a third of those people that we're not reaching so that's that's how big the problem is here even if we bank our size hundred thousand square foot facility distributing thirty four thirty five million pounds a year still not reaching the demand here in l.a. county it's a big problem here in america where you do have all that kind of food and resources available that you still have people talking through the cracks and that should happen in this country we export billions of pounds of food to other countries too on top of what we keep here and we're still not making food available to everybody here in america which is. a sad state of affairs is that.
the last enquires of the part of the solution. many of them already work almost every major grocery stores on the l.a. food banks list of donors the question is could they do more and from the amount of food thrown into dumpsters every night the answer is yes. darryn told me that the l.a. food bank is short eleven million pounds of food every year if the entire country throws out ninety six billion pounds of food every year what about just los angeles county i'm going to use this whipped cream i got out of the dumpster the other night to do the math to see how much food l.a. county throws away every year every year in l.a. county we throw away twenty four billion pounds of trash. according to the e.p.a. twelve percent of that is food waste that means we throw away two billion eight hundred and eighty million pounds of food saving just one percent of valets food
waste would equal nearly thirty million pounds of food that's almost triple what the food bank is short every year. food waste happens on all levels of production and consumption on farms in transit in the making of highly produced foods in grocery stores in restaurants and in our homes but grocery stores are the obvious choice for redirecting wasted food to hungry people. i decided to go to the trader joe's headquarters since it's only a fifteen minute drive from my house but i was a bearded mangy dumpster diver and thought i'd better clean up before talking with sophisticated business people about policy changes in their companies a haircut and a shave in the tide did absolutely nothing for me we didn't have the camera rolling or anything we just walked in and i asked to speak with someone and they said we're going to have to ask you to leave because you can't be asking questions about trader joe's i can write a letter to the c.e.o.
of trader joe's which i will do for picking on trader joe's because they happen to be the best store to dumpster dive so. we know we've pulled a lot of food out of their dumpsters in particular i still couldn't believe that there were actually hungry people in the united states the richest country in the world so we stopped by the regional offices of bread for the world an organization working through political means to end global hunger there are hungry people in the u.s. i'd say there are about thirty five and a half million people in the u.s. who are food insecure that's a silly face but let's say thirty five and a half million people in the u.s. don't know where their next meal is coming from. but about people in the us are actually going hungry and that's to find that saying they're just today. they can't get.
to ninety six billion. numbers in the millions and billions are hard to imagine and can feel meaningless without a way to picture them so what does ninety six billion pounds of food look like it's impossible to actually measure ninety six billion pounds of food waste because of the endless variables in size and weight one pound of steak takes up less space
than one pound of bread but you have to look at the food behind the food losses through feed grains used to produce meat a cow which should be eating grass in the first place consume seven pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat so a pound of wasted me actually represents seven pounds of food waste. but if we stick to the lower estimate of ninety six billion pounds what does that amount of food look like on a freight train. the average box car can hold up to two hundred eleven thousand pounds of cargo if you filled each one to capacity you would need four hundred fifty three thousand two hundred fifty. boxcars that's a train long enough to stretch from los angeles to new york city and all the way back. what if all this food were then unloaded and fed to pigs is swill like they used to do in the old days with food scraps. three pound piglet needs an average of
thirty pounds of food per week to reach its massive two hundred sixty five pound slaughter weight in five months redirecting our annual food waste into grateful pigs mouths would raise one hundred twenty million piglets and the massive hogs producing enough meat to give everyone on the planet three pounds of pork. but meat is costly to produce both financially and for the environment and two hundred twenty two pounds of meat per person per year in the us we have far exceeded what is healthy and sustainable for the planet. so instead what would ninety six billion pounds of wheat look like on average one acre produces forty bushels of wheat each bushel wang sixty pounds so one acre equals twenty four hundred pounds of wheat putting our annual food waste into acres of wheat would total forty million acres that's a wheat field nearly the size of the state of oklahoma enough wheat to feed everyone on the planet three one pound loaves of bread per day for an entire week.
or maybe a better way to picture how much food we waste would be to travel just six hundred miles from our southern shores to the tiny country of haiti. with our ninety six billion pounds of food waste the entire country of haiti could be fed for five years or more. here in the poorest country in the western hemisphere twenty five percent of children are chronically malnourished. reduced to eating mud cakes made from salt shortening in filthy water to curb their hunger pangs. unfortunately we can't simply put our wasted food on a boat and feed eighty. and that's not what haiti needs to become whole again. but the contrast of our excess and their lack exist side by side as with the needy and marginalized in our own wealthy country if nothing more it is an unsettling
reality that calls into question our flippancy with food waste. and in spite of the complexities surrounding food production consumption and waste we can no doubt eliminate both food waste and hunger in the united states as a start while looking more seriously at the dire needs of neighbors around the globe.
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